Probably my number one financial rule in life is that I do NOT like to spend my money on managing money. This means I don’t want to pay for my bank services, I don’t want to pay for my credit card services, and I don’t ever, ever, ever want to pay interest on my credit card.
As you know, I am a fanatic about paying off my credit card because compound interest works both ways, baby. I have never carried a balance.
But this year, I have a fellowship that comes with a significant amount of professional development/travel funding. I get to go on awesome trips (New Orleans, St. Pete, Canary Islands!) but I have to front the money and then I have to wait 6-10 weeks to be reimbursed.
I just can’t afford to front the money, pay off my credit cards and still make rent. So, for this year only, I broke my cardinal rule (sort of).
I signed up for a credit card that allows me to pay no interest on a balance for 14 months. I carry a balance on this credit card, and as soon as I am reimbursed for my travels I pay it right off. I don’t include this credit card in my Mint reporting, because it’s money that is outside of my budget and it is money that I would not be spending if not for this fellowship.
I normally would NEVER advocate for this sort of financial planning, but in this situation I needed more cash flow flexibility. I could really get myself in trouble if I forgot that the money that I am getting reimbursed for has already been spent..so I am very strict with myself, and it has saved me a lot of worry and money-transferring.
Moral of the story: it is ok to break your own rules, as long as they make sense. Be flexible. Try financial yoga!